Monday 26 August 2019

Munster boosted by return of Conor Murray, Keith Earls and Joey Carbery

Conor Murray of Munster leaves the field with Munster lead physiotherapist Damien Mordan
Conor Murray of Munster leaves the field with Munster lead physiotherapist Damien Mordan
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster's hopes of setting up a Guinness PRO14 semi-final clash with Leinster have been handed a triple boost as Conor Murray (neck), Keith Earls (thigh) and Joey Carbery (hamstring) are all in line to train fully this week.

Murray was a late withdrawal in Saturday's win over Connacht, but the Ireland scrum-half has shown no ill-effects of the neck issue, having been cleared to train by the medical staff this morning, ahead of the quarter-final with Benetton at Thomond Park on Saturday.

Earls has been sidelined since pulling up with a thigh injury in the warm-up against Cardiff Blues earlier this month, while Carbery has been struggling with a hamstring problem since the Six Nations.

The out-half did return in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final victory in Edinburgh, but he had to be replaced having suffered a recurrence of the injury.

Murray will train in Limerick this afternoon with Earls and Carbery in line to do the same tomorrow. Should the Ireland trio come through the training week unscathed, all three are expected to start at Thomond Park on Saturday.

"We took him off as a precaution on Saturday before the game," head coach Johann van Graan said of Murray.

"He was assessed by the medical team this morning, just a bit of stiffness, a minor neck injury and he'll be available to train this afternoon.

"He took a hit. It was on the TV coverage, in the warm-up, he fell backwards and we feel he can train this afternoon. It's great news, fantastic news.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

"He really wanted to play in the game and we said we'll go and assess in the changing room. He wanted to play, he's had some issues before but luckily after close examination by the medical team all's good and he's ready to train."

With regard to Earls and Carbery, Van Graan added: "Both will be into team training for the first time tomorrow afternoon and should they come through that and Thursday's training they should all be available for selection over the weekend.

"Also great news. They haven't been with the team for a while so they won't train today but hopefully get into full training tomorrow and then hopefully that goes well."

Brian Scott (foot), James Cronin (leg), Fineen Wycherley (hamstring), Tommy O'Donnell (shoulder) are still rehabbing their respective knocks and will not feature against Benetton on Saturday. 

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport